Franz Weinschenk

Host, Valley Writers Read

Franz Weinschenk, his parents and his older brother Fritz were indeed lucky to get out of Germany just before World War II.  For a while they lived in Brooklyn, N.Y., before moving to Madera, CA.  He graduated from Madera High and Fresno State.  From 1948 to 1952 he taught at Edison High School in Fresno after which he was drafted and served in the US Army for two years. 

After being discharged, he started teaching speech and English at Fresno City College.  As the years passed, besides his teaching assignments, he was chosen to be the school's first yearbook adviser, their first debate coach, and the first Dean of the college's brand new Humanities Division, a job he held for 12 years.  He retired from working full-time in 1980, but to this day continues teaching at least one evening class.  From 1980 to 1988, he served as the director of the Volunteer Bureau of Fresno County.  Franz has three children and lives with his wife Sally. He enjoys power walking, swimming and biking.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author Hope Nisly titled "Seasons of Doubt." The story is mainly about personal behavior and philosophies.  Here is a young, very traditional Mennonite girl enrolled in grammar school who meets Summer, another girl with many surprising and often contrary views.  The story tells us what happens when Summer writes an essay entitled “Why I Am An Atheist”?

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear two stories: “Paper or Plastic” by James Benelli and “Night Sweats” by Ed Miller.  Both stories are read by their authors. The first story is a light hearted tale about a bag boy in a grocery store who was just about seduced by a very wealthy customer.  The second story is about a veteran with post traumatic stress disorder.

Editor's note: this program contains adult themes and may not be appropriate for all listeners.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story titled "My Life As A Mystic"  by David Borofka. Even though the main character is an appraiser (which is anything but being “other worldly”) he sees himself as a “mystic.”  Nothing demonstrates this more clearly than what happens toward the end of the story. Listen and find out what happens on this week's program.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author Janice Stevens. "Central Valley Honor Flight" is an account of a trip Stevens took in April of 2014  to accompany local World War Two veterans to our nation's capital. As a representative of a local magazine, Janice Stevens accompanied these veterans as they visited many of the memorials dedicated to them.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author Craig Bernthal titled "Route 18." Through no fault of her own, Linda, a troubled teenager, is thrown into the middle of a really difficult divorce.  By law, she's required to reside with each of her separated parents for two weeks at a time.  She desperately tries to escape her agonizing confinement by traveling down an imaginary highway – the one she calls "Route 18."

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear "The Automobile Ride," a short story by author Angelo Angarano. Shortly after this program was produced, Angelo passed away at the age of 95. We dedicate this program in his memory. While his cousin Gino butchers some songs on the accordion, Angelo celebrates his ninth birthday.  And just a couple of weeks later Angelo's father buys the family's first car, a 1929 Model A Ford sedan with all of 9,500 miles on it.

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story by local author and farmer David Mas Masumoto titled "Scent Of A Father." 

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author Robert Walton, titled "Lulu Garlic, Contraband." 

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear two stories by local author Howard Hendrix, "Son of the Sun" and "The Self-Healing Sky."

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story by local author Mary Benton titled "The Grape Fields." The story is read by Leigh Murray.

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story titled “Johnnie Ray and Miss Kilgallen” by Bonnie Hearn Hill, and read by her husband Larry. Find out about the early days of television and radio, about some of the prominent TV, radio and journalism personalities of that era.  Learn more about their private lives and popular shows like “What's My Line.”

This week on Valley Public Radio's Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author Oscar G. Williams titled “Bucket List." Read by Don Weaver, the story is about a list of four activities the children and grandchildren of two well-to-do 65 year old twins come up with for their grandparents to enjoy in their old age – golfing, skiing, motorcycling, and jumping out of airplanes at 10,000 feet.

A persecuted German family that was lucky enough to get out of Nazi Germany before WWII started life over again in Brooklyn, New York.  The story describes how they dealt with their new neighborhood, living conditions, work, schools, illness, and America's deep depression.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author Janet Nichols Lynch titled "Free Will." Maureen is the lead character.  She's been divorced from Jack, while Patrick, the father of six-month old Audrey, is the other man.  But now some serious problems have come up and Maureen is thinking about starting life all over.

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story by local author James Varner, "Memories of Growing Up with Friends." The story is all about the life-long friends the author made in the Bakersfield neighborhood where he grew up.  He tells us about the schools he went to and the profession he chose, and an event that brought back many memories, years later. 

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story by local author Thomas Nance, "Dad's Address Book." The story is set in the last part of World War II  in the Pacific.  The author re-constructs many of the stories about the infantry battles that we won in the South Pacific – island by island –  from letters his father wrote while serving under General Douglas McArthur.

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a piece by local journalist Mark Arax, who describes the huge farm show in Tulare where tractors sell for a quarter million dollars. Arax tells us about the unbelievable variety and staggering volume of farm production right here in the San Joaquin Valley. 

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear a story titled “Double Plot” by Judy Ryan. Listen for a moving story about love and loss over the decades. 

This week on Valley Writers Read, acclaimed novelist and former Fresno State professor Steve Yarbrough reads his story "The Intersection."

This week on Valley Writers Read we hear local author Hank Palmer read an autobiographical account of life growing up on a large Iowa farm.  Palmer's story documents how he gained an appreciation for the natural world of sunrises, sunsets, rain and wind, growing farm products like wheat, corn and hay, and all about how to raise chickens, cattle, pigs, and horses.

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